Chapter 35: The Moment Your Talent Buds (2)
“Why do you like this role?”
“I feel sorry for her.”
She was right. This Jung Haewon character was pitiable and had a lot of thorns.
She grew up in an unfortunate household, and she studied day and night with the determination that she would succeed with her own power, got accepted to a good university and even used her income from her part-time job to study overseas.
She was a woman who would make one think that it was about time for the world to reward her for her efforts. However, there was one problem with her. It was that she would occasionally see what others couldn’t, ghosts.
It would have been best if she simply ignored them, but she was so afraid of ghosts that she would freeze on the spot even if she caught a glimpse of their shadow. She tried her best to overcome this fear, but it was all for naught.
Because of this problem, she eventually walked out of a large company she worked for on her own and met the main character while working as a freelance interpreter.
“You like this role because you feel sorry for her?”
“Even though she tries so hard, it doesn’t work out well and she has a difficult time. But since the drama ends with everyone happy, it must mean she is happy in the end.”
“I want to see that.”
She said as she carefully patted the synopsis.
“Then do you want to try Jung Haewon’s lines in the outline?”
I said passingly, but Lee Songha flinched.
It was the same expression she had when I told her to try acting.
Goddamn trauma. The acting teacher bastard. I won’t let you go, seriously.
“Songha, I don’t know what kind of words that acting teacher said to you, but you are definitely not bad enough to be called terrible. Do you know how many episodes of dramas I’ve seen and how much money I spent on movie tickets? If I couldn’t tell if someone was terrible at acting or not after all that, then I would have already quit being a manager.”
“Try reading it once without any pressure. I’m the only one here.”
I tried to persuade her with my gentlest voice.
Hesitation slowly faded from Lee Songha’s eyes, and her pretty lips moved. While tension and silence hung in the air, I didn’t urge her and stared at the lid of the muffin box.
“I get your circumstances, but I can’t do it.”
Her voice was so quiet you would have to perk your ears to listen.
“First, I really dislike cats. Also, I extremely hate ghosts. I’d rather strangle myself than stick next to a cat ghost and interpret for it.”
My mouth opened without knowing.
Instead Lee Songha, who had finished off a muffin just now, I heard the tired voice of a woman in her mid-twenties, cold and thorny, yet unable to fully conceal the dejection and resignation in her voice.
You couldn’t say that she was acting properly.
In a quiet voice that you couldn’t hear if you were a few steps away, she had simply read a few short lines… But even then, it felt like Jung Haewon was sitting in front of me instead of Lee Songha.
How could this be possible?
If an actor acted in front of your eyes, would they all be like this?
Or was it… that I was witnessing the moment someone was budding her outstanding talent?
She looked at me as if she felt my gaze.
I jumped to my senses and said,
“You’re good at acting. Really good. No matter how I look at it, I think that rather than dancing or singing, although you aren’t really bad at them either, your talent leans more towards acting.”
Ah, I did it again.
Unfiltered words came out due to my excitement. But it couldn’t be helped because, unless my eyes were shit, really shit, there was no doubt in my words.
She was great at acting.
What would Lee Songha’s acting look like once she was properly prepared? Even imagining this heightened my expectations.
“… I’m good?”
As if she heard some strange words, her eyes widened as she looked at me.
“Yeah. Really good. Don’t listen to that crazy acting teacher and listen to m… Well, that will be pretty hard. I will definitely prove it with a different acting teacher.”
Then I pointed to the synopsis again.
“Try some more.”
She had hesitated before, but now she opened her mouth immediately.
I listened to the script I had almost memorized, her words filled with emotion.
Even as Lee Songha spoke her lines, she would glance at me as if checking my expression. That was why I maintained my smile to the point where I felt it would cramp. Since it seemed she was reassured by it.
The more lines she spoke, the louder her voice became, and even her expression became more vibrant.
Not a lot of time had passed when she finished her last line. It was regretful that the outline didn’t have many lines for Jung Haewon.
Damn, I wanted to quickly get the script.
No, I wanted to push Lee Songha in front of the camera.
And it wasn’t only me, Lee Songha seemed sad it was so short.
“How is it?… Do you like it?”
Lee Songha’s lips subtly curled upwards as she held onto the synopsis with both hands and nodded.
“I enjoyed acting from the start. But…”
“The teacher said that it was sad because my members were probably hoping my acting would be good and that I would raise our team’s popularity. To not get so hung up on something I can’t do and to use that time to practice dancing and singing… So I quit.”
That acting teacher, no, that word was wasted on him. That psycho bastard.
“Hooo, I am going to grab that man’s collar.”
Surprised, I turned around and saw Kim Hyunjo and the team 3 leader peering in through the meeting room door which had been opened by 2cm.
Since when were they there?
The two opened the door widely and entered.
“In fact, I went to talk to that teacher this morning.”
Kim Hyunjo wrinkled his brows.
“No matter how bad she is at acting, someone who calls himself a teacher shouldn’t criticize his students so severely that they become traumatized. I went and threw a fit, and he eventually admitted that his words were harsh. We decided that he would personally apologize to Lee Songha later. And about him having other motives…”
Yes, this was more important than a spoken apology.
“His reaction was a bit suspicious, but since we don’t have proof, there’s nothing we can do right now.”
Kim Hyunjo clicked his tongue in dissatisfaction.
“Since he just claims that he personally thought she wasn’t good at acting.”
“Umm, what about any connection with Son Chaeyoung…”
“Since that’s a sensitive problem, we can’t bring it up without clear evidence.”
The team 3 leader replied.
“This isn’t a matter we can move blindly based on our hunches. The team 2 leader will protest and even Son Chaeyoung will make a fuss. We need some concrete proof. I’m not saying we’re going to end it here; I’m going to look into it further so wait.”
It would be great if my foresight gave me a hint at a time like this…
I thought before shaking my head. Because I gained a lot of benefits from it a few times, this thought kept coming up whenever I felt a bit frustrated. If I became addicted and overly dependent on my ability, it would become a huge problem.
Either way, I needed to look into it myself.
The team 3 leader jokingly said.
“Songha, try to get good reviews from the public and show that teacher.”
“To the point where you can say, ’I am not bad at acting, it’s your eyes that are shit. So if you are going to continue being an acting teacher, first replace your eyes.’ Do your best and get good results.”
Those words meant…
“When I was looking from outside, Songha’s acting seemed pretty good. Check if there are any good projects in the winter and spring lineups and start auditioning now.”
This was it. It was sudden, but I couldn’t miss this opportunity.
The moment I was about to show them the Cat Guardian Ghost synopsis, the team 3 leader mumbled.
“I think Mermaid out of Water is the best.”
“I thought about that first too. Since it is a project one of our actors is the leading role for… But because that person is Son Chaeyoung, it’s a bit.”
“Did you hear about anything else?”
“IBC’s Wed/Thurs drama, Time Slip. That wasn’t bad? The writer and director worked together on previous works, and they were successful. They say that it’s a promising project along with Mermaid out of Water. But their reaction might not be good since Son Chaeyoung rejected them. Ah, Sung Dowon also has a drama he’s thinking about. This is a 100% filmed beforehand so it will be release summer next year, but it’s a huge project with a 150-billion-won budget. The competition for this project is the highest.”
“Really? What do Lee Songha and Luck Thrower think? Do you have one you like out of the three?”
Put them away.
Please put all three away.
I met Lee Songha’s gaze once before pushing the Cat Guardian Ghost synopsis in front of them.
“Chief, team leader. Please take a look at this project.”
Kim Hyunjo and the team 3 leader put their heads next to each other and flipped through the synopsis.
“Isn’t this what Songha read just now? Is this also a new project?”
“You should have told us that you had already picked something. Where is it from?”
“It is a project that will be released in January by TVL. They are currently casting leading and supporting roles. The director is TVL’s Producer Shin Taekyun. He possesses a good directing ability, and his previous work, Killing Me, was a mystery romance, and its highest viewership rating hit 5% and ended smoothly.”
“Ah, I saw a few episodes of that. They were full of suspense.”
As if he had become more interested, Kim Hyunjo examined the synopsis in more detail.
The team 3 leader nodded his head.
“If they hit 5% on a cable network, that’s good.”
“Writer Hong Jumi seems unfamiliar, what was her previous work?”
“Ah, is the new project produced in-house by TVL?”
The two of them rushed their questions.
I resolved myself firmly before answering.
I knew that this project would be a hit on cable, so much that it would be distributed in China and make the leading and supporting cast national stars.
However, this was all simply a future only I knew.
Dramas were a big business, and this wasn’t something I could force my way through by myself.
If I wanted to get Lee Songha in this project, I first needed to persuade the person in question, Lee Songha, and the two in front of me, Kim Hyunjo and the team 3 leader.
Fortunately, Lee Songha, who had built up a wall, seemed to be almost persuaded. I only needed to make these two nod their heads.
The problem was that this wouldn’t be easy.
“It’s not produced in-house; it’s a project being produced by Pan Production.”
“Ah, it’s subcontracted? Many subcontracts are flimsy so you need to pay close attention. There are many cases where they don’t care about legal action and don’t pay the actors once they run out of the budget. What else did they make?”
“It’s a company founded by CEO Kim Panseok who had become independent after working at TVL. This is their first project.”
“Uhh… Is that so? So it’s new? Who’s the writer?”
“She’s Hong Jumi. She wrote two romance novels and received favorable reviews, and this is her first time writing a drama. I read her novels, and her writing skills are great. Her characters were well fleshed out, and she expressed her characters amiably.”
Although I expected this, Kim Hyunjo and the team 3 leader’s expressions weren’t good.
 Approx. 131.8 Million USD